Thursday, April 22, 2010

Citizens for Ethics: Jindal is one of the worst governors in the country

Citizens for Ethics (CREW) has named Bobby Jindal #4 in the worst 11 governors in the country. These are their charges.

Bobby Jindal
Bobby Jindal (R-LA) was elected governor of Louisiana in 2007 and is running for reelection in 2011.
Gov. Jindal:
• Prevented the public release of government records and has fought legislation to make
government more transparent
• Weakened the authority of the state ethics board
• Refused to accept federal stimulus funds to expand unemployment insurance and to fund
other important programs
• Rewarded campaign donors with government jobs and contracts
• Has been fined for ethics violations

During the 2009 legislative session, Gov. Jindal killed a bill that would have greatly expanded
transparency in the governor’s office. House Bill 169 would have extended the Public Records
Act to the governor’s office and made most books, records, writings, accounts, letters and other
executive branch communications available to the public on request. Gov. Jindal said the bill
would violate executive privilege and helped to kill it in committee.
Instead, Gov. Jindal backed Senate Bill 278, a rival measure riddled with loopholes, but which
became law on July 10, 2009. Gov. Jindal asserted the new law would increase government
transparency, but opponents charged that it would forever seal some records regarding who and what influenced a governor’s decisions.
Gov. Jindal has voiced his opposition to legislation aimed at expanding access to records of the
governor’s office. During the 2010 legislative session, two state legislators introduced bills to
strengthen the open records policy by making clear that gubernatorial records are public and
creating narrow exceptions to shield specific documents from the public domain. One bill
directs the governor’s office to preserve records exempt from public disclosure and transfer them to the state archives at the end of the governor’s tenure; the documents would become public.

After a special legislative session passed Gov. Jindal-backed legislation gutting the Louisiana
Board of Ethics, ten of its 11 members resigned. Seven of the ten members resigned because
the legislation transferred ethics enforcement power from the state ethics board to administrative
law judges, rendering the board useless. Under the new law, administrative law judges,
selected by an appointee of the governor, determine the guilt or innocence of public officials.
Opponents of the legislation contend this will hinder ethics reform and promote political
gamesmanship because lawmakers may be able to choose the judges they will face. The new
law also requires a tougher standard for evidence to prove ethics violations. Gov. Jindal
proposed the legislation while he was under investigation by the Louisiana Board of Ethics.
Other proponents of the new law were accused of holding grudges against the ethics board.

Gov. Jindal declined $98 million in federal stimulus funds intended to help the state expand
unemployment insurance. He also rejected $9.5 million in stimulus funds to temporarily
expand Medicaid to families who left welfare for a job and turned back $55.3 million to provide
health care for people without insurance. Gov. Jindal also refused to apply for $300 million in
stimulus money to potentially fund a high-speed rail line between New Orleans and Baton
Rouge, upsetting even some fellow Louisiana Republicans, including Rep. Anh “Joseph” Cao.
In marked contrast, Gov. Jindal accepted and dispersed one billion in stimulus money to shore up
Louisiana’s budget. The governor also publicly presented a $521,000 check he signed
personally to the First Baptist Church in Anacoco, but failed to disclose its source: the muchmaligned federal stimulus law.

Gov. Jindal appointed more than 200 campaign contributors—who donated in excess of
$784,000 to the governor’s election campaign in 2007 and 2008—to positions in Louisiana state
government. In addition, 12 of the 16 doctors appointed by Gov. Jindal to the Louisiana
Medical Advisory Board were found to be campaign donors as well.
Gov. Jindal has sought to keep such connections from becoming public. During the 2009
legislative session, the governor helped kill House Bill 243, a measure which would have
required him to disclose the names of campaign contributors appointed to government
positions. It was not the first time Gov. Jindal tried to keep the legislature from forcing him to
divulge his ties to donors; he vetoed similar legislation in 2008.
Gov. Jindal also has awarded millions of dollars in work and incentives to campaign donors.
In one egregious case, the state announced plans to invest $10 million in the Port of Terrebonne, to the benefit of Gary Chouest. Mr. Chouest, his business and his closest family members
were responsible for at least 18 separate donations to Gov. Jindal’s campaign war-chest, totaling

Gov. Jindal was fined $2,500 by the Louisiana Board of Ethics for violating campaign finance
laws by failing to disclose in a timely manner more than $118,000 in direct mail expenses the
Louisiana Republican Party made on his behalf.


  1. Well - all things considered most of the "bad things" on theirs lists aren't that bad at all.

    Refused to accept federal stimulus funds to expand unemployment insurance

    That is a PLUS in my book.

  2. I think one word sums up Jindal, and that word is amibition. Principled, conservative, not so much.

  3. Well I took my grandad's advice from back when he was alive and went to the source and asked some questions. Grandaddy would have love this by the way, since he was a lifelong democrat.

    First I asked who is CREW? And are they non political? And how long have they been doing this? What did their previous list look like? And as I dug, I found many more questions to ask.

    Who are they? Melanie Sloan, Executive Director. Has been working for some of the most liberal democrats for many years and has also been named one of Washington, DC’s Top Grassroots Lobbyists by The Hill for three years running. It was downhill from there. The rest of the crew fall pretty much into the same boat. Go to their site, click on about, then about the crew crew.

    Can this now be without bias? There is no worst governors list in previous years. And why stop at 11, why not more or why not stop at 10? Is #12 a high democrat governor? Of the 11 only 2 are democrats, that I think have fallen out of favor with the democrats?

    Why did all of a sudden turning down Fed Stim funds become unethical? And why did in their first list, did they choose to include this? Was it because they knew it would catch mostly republicans. And why did they say it was for political gains? Perhaps they were sincere that they didn't need it or the strings the federal government attached to them? If this was to highlight unethical behavior, why not just list it and not call people hypocritical, unless they were trying to paint a picture that their "facts" could not support?

    I could go on, because I found a lot more wrong with their report, but I got a lot of work to do. My analysis, maybe their is a problem in ethics in government, but it appears there is a lack of ethics and honesty at CREW. My opinion. Good article though Jim.

  4. I didn't know anything about CREW, Darrell, but I suspected as much. I did think it was provocative and raised some good questions though, and Lord knows I like to get provocative.

  5. Well you know Jim, just another thought. What is ethical for one person may not be ethical for another. So who determines ethics. I could say that your post was unethical because it called into question a man's character. You are going to turn around and say there is nothing unethical about raising questions about a man's character. We are all on different plains when it comes to determining ethics. This is where we also have a problem in our country about morals, ethics and laws. If everyone bases their ethics, morals and laws on the "same" interpretation of the Bible, then we are all on the same page about what is right and wrong. But when you say that now the Bible is no longer our source of morality, laws and ethics, then what is that basis. Another religion? Or man? If it is man then it is based upon man's desires, and not everyone is the same. So now since the Bible has been taken out of the prominence in our government, we see laws that allow other things to change and become normal and even in the future might become the preferred. Think about playground football with out a rule book. Who rules then, the biggest kid gets his way. The same thing, if there is no higher authority over government, then the one who yields the biggest stick rules. In the USSR, they didn't teach communism, they taught evolution and no God. Why, because without a God, the Government becomes the big kid on the block that rules. sorry for the mini sermon.

  6. Darrell makes a good point. This Sloan chick is obviously a lefie schill...worked for Schumer, and other leftists morons.

    But...the points in her little report about Jindal undercutting his own ethics reform claims, and the shrouded "transparent" administration are true.

    You can't get squat out of the administration. Even the worthless legislature is getting frustrated trying to halfway do their jobs with Bobby's administration.

    I'll just go ahead and say it. My vote for Bobby Jindal for Governor is the most disappointing one I have ever made.

    I've often voted for politicians that lost...more often than not. And, I've voted for some that didn't do everything they promised. But I've never voted for one with such high hopes...only to be disappointed by almost every decision that he/she made.

    I can't say that I would have voted for anyone other than Bobby...surely not Popeye, or Tide salesman...

    But, I sure would have liked to know going in the real Bobby Jindal...and what his real agenda was.

    Maybe it's just me. But, I was his biggest fan...guess I'm a pretty easy guy to fool.

    I don't dislike him personally, and I don't wish him ill. But, it's kinda like getting your hopes all up for this great new movie that's soon to be released...and then you buy the ticket, and sit there and watch the "same old, same old," walk away wondering why you spent the two bucks.

    But that's just me.

  7. "What is ethical for one person may not be ethical for another."

    haha, in order to protect your boy, you've adopted one of the conservative mind's biggest bogeymen: situation ethics.

    anyhoo, even if CREW is a firebreathing liberal, the facts in the report are just that. you can't deny pbj gave 200 gov jobs to campaign donors. all you can do is decide whether or not that bother you.

    oh, and rex, the charge isn't that he refused the stimulus money, it's that he refused the money that would have helped the poor while accepting money he could pass on to his wealthy supporters.

  8. Hmmm, did I say anything about Jindals actions, either good or bad in my post? I think you missed the whole point of my post. I was not defending anything he might have been accused of.

  9. I am just curious, does anyone have any figures on the number of people who were not able to draw unemployment insurance because Jindal did not get the federal funding for this and therefore causing the funds to dry up? Or do I have a misunderstanding of how that works?


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